Joseph W. Demers, AKA “ Bill the Barber”, 87 passed away peacefully January, 4 at Massena Memorial Hospital surrounded with the love of his family. Arrangements are entrusted with the Hammill Funeral Home, Winthrop.
Bill was born, Wednesday, February 6, 1924 in Helena the son of the late Joseph & Rose (Shorrette) Demers and received his education locally in Helena and Massena. On February 20, 1943 Bill enlisted in the United States Army. During his military career he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal. Bill was honorably discharged from the Army February 15, 1946.
Upon his return from the Army, he attended a school in New York City for radio and tv repair. He returned to the North Country and was employed in the construction field building houses and then worked for a brief time at the Alcoa plant in Massena. He soon realized his calling was to follow in his father’s footsteps and became a barber. He started his career apprenticing under a barber in Moira, and eventually opened his own shop in downtown Brasher. After his father passed, he kept that shop open in Helena for a short time.
In 1981 Bill earned his GED. Having a zest for learning and a challenge, he took the New York State notary exam and Amateur Extra Ham Operating License, obtaining a perfect score on both exams. Bill’s motto for life and famous words were “as long as you can read, you can learn”. He was an avid antique radio collector and gardner.
Bill was one of the founders of the Brasher VFW which is now located in North Lawrence. He was also a member of the American Legion and Amvets Post 0004.
He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Corleen, four children; Alice R. and Larry Goodspeed of Massena, Wayne W. and Sherrie Demers of North Lawrence, Janet L. and Marshall Emburey of Norwood, Matthew S. Demers and Carolyn Fox, Plattsburgh. He enjoyed spending time with is five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren as well as a loving sister Pauline Louey of Massena.
Bill was predeceased by his three sisters, Maude, Margaret, and Mary, and one Brother, Lewis.
Visitation will be held Sunday, Jan. 8, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hammill Funeral Home. Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial with military honors, which will commence on Monday morning at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick Church, with Rev. Garry Giroux presiding.
A reception to honor his life will follow at the American Legion in Winthrop. Those wishing to express an act of kindness, in lieu of flowers may make a donation to the Tri-Town Rescue Squad.
Memories may be shared with the family at www.Hammillfh.com